Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Canyon de Chelly

I know it's been a long time since my last post, but I plan on getting caught up.  When I left Bluff, UT, I headed over to Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.  You can only enter the canyon with a guide, except to hike down to White House Ruins.  I chose the guided tour of the canyon and wasn't disappointed.  It was supposed to be a group tour, but no one else showed up, so I got my own private tour.  My guide has family who has had property in the canyon for several generations.  All people who lived in the canyon at the time the National Park Service made it a monument, were grandfathered in.  They get to continue to live and use their land, but it cannot be sold, just passed on down through the family.
The canyon has been the home to ancient puebloans and the navajo for hundreds of years.  In 1863, Col. Kit Carson placed troops at both ends of the canyon to defeat the Navajo population within.  Kit Carson not only captured the Navajo's  but destroyed their homes, crops and supplies.  Over 8,000 Navajo's then took the Long Walk thru the canyon to Bosque Redondo reservation in New Mexico.

This unusual looking van was camped in the campground.  Evidently they are rented out of California and are popular with the European tourists.  Since seeing this first one, I have seen many here in Arizona and California.

 All along the canyon walls were petroglyphs and pictographs.  Some were from the ancient puebloans, and others from the Navajo.

There were also many cliff dwellings in the canyon.

Antelope House Ruins.  They have fences around the ruins so you cannot get too close.  

More pictographs and petroglyphs.  My guide indicated the painted deer was more recent, probably navajo.

White House Ruins.  Notice they are 2 levels.

More pictographs and petroglyphs.  More hands.  What is it with the hands?

From the canyon rim, looking down into the canyon.  Notice in the bottom their is a modern dwelling.  Most Navajo's don't live here during the winter, only the summer.  Many move their livestock into the canyon since it is cooler.

Spider Rock.  Legend says this is the home of Spider Woman, long revered by the Navajo's and also taught the Navajo's their weaving.

Ruins located at the base of Spider Rock.  

No comments: